BEST PROCESSORS FOR LAPTOPS
The 21st-century beings have evolved to become part of a tech-friendly environment. From children to teenagers to adults and up-till grandpa’s age, everybody is using technology in one form or the other. Computers, laptops and mobile phones have become so easily accessible and so world-weary that these are no longer just devices; they have become part of us and the part of our everyday lives. It is beyond imagination nowadays to live without these devices.
These little machines perform many tasks for us like calling, texting, social media, office presentations, etc. with the help of different applications and software we can do anything. Everything in our power is just a tap away. But, have you ever wondered, what powers these devices? Where is the accuracy of decisions coming from? Where are the Cerebrum, cerebellum, and oblongata of these smart devices?
Asking a lay-man, he answered that a CPU is the brain of the computer. Yes! Absolutely Correct! The Central Processing Unit (CPU) or the ‘Processor’ is the component which powers the whole device, be it a full-sized desktop, or a laptop or even a mobile phone.
There are questions in the mind of people, like how can such a small chip power up the whole device? Or how is one processor faster than the other? Which are the best processors? Let’s discuss the anatomy of a processor.
ANATOMY OF A PROCESSOR
We all have come across many different types of programs and software which offer us to install in either 32 Bit or 64 Bit versions. This is called the Architecture of the processor. This means that different software support either of the two architectures; otherwise, incompatibility may occur. 32 Bit architecture implies that 32 bits of information can be processed in one cycle and similarly, 64 Bit means that 64 bits of information can be processed in one cycle. The architecture of the processor decides the amount of RAM that the device can support.
The processor also contains Cores which performs the simple function of receiving the instructions and acting on them. It is the processing unit if the processor to be called so. The higher the number of cores in a processor, the more efficient and faster the processor becomes. This was the benefit of having more cores, but it comes with a little drawback of consuming more power and heating the CPU, more than those with lesser core.
Next, we talk about the clock speed of the computer, 1 GHz, 2 GHz or even more. Gigahertz (GHz) means ‘Billion cycles in one second.’ The higher the number of GHz, the better is the performance of the processor. This is known as the ‘Frequency’ or ‘clock-speed’ of the processor.
As we know that the Processor is a lot faster than the RAM, so half of the time the CPU remains idle with no command. To avoid this lag, the RAM keeps sending some data continuously to the CPU. This data is known as CPU Cache.
The lithography of the processor is the size of the transistor used in the CPU. The smaller the size of the transistor, the more compact will be the processor. The size is measured in Nano Meters. The lithography results in the reduction of power consumption by the processor by allowing more cores to fit in the compact processor size.
Thermal Design Power (TDP)
The Thermal Design Power (TDP) is the power which the processor uses when working at a base frequency in the minimum workload when all the cores are functional. The Lower the TDP, the lesser will be the power consumption and heat generation by the CPU.
Let’s now discuss the best processors for laptops in the 2018 line-up based on three different categories of high range, middle range, and budget options.
Intel Core i9-7980XE Processor
Pros & Cons
The ‘XE’ in the name stands for ‘Extreme,’ which signifies the extreme performance of the processor. Intel has been on top of the game when it comes to processors, but last year AMD Ryzen thread ripper series blew its game. Now, after almost a year, Intel is back with a bang, introducing the core i9.
The company has created its most freakishly insane processor with 18 cores, i.e., the Intel Core i9-7980XE. In terms of pricing, the monster processor has surpassed all of its rivals at $1,999/- only. Well, those digits cannot be ‘only’ for sure. This processor costs twice the price of AMD’s top processor, i.e. the AMD Ryzen Threadripper which sports 16 cores instead of 18. Intel has already tested the limits of its user’s pockets by announcing the 10-core Intel Core i7-6950X the past year.
The Intel Core i9 features 18 cores and 36 threads which are packed into Intel’s compact architecture of the Skylake-X with the lithographic size of 14 nm. Not only this, the processor sports smart cache of 24.75 MB, compatibility for up to 44 PCIe 3.0 lanes with 165W Thermal Design Power (TDP) and quad channel memory.
With even half the size of AMD’s Ryzen, the i9 processor clocks at a frequency of 2.60 GHz which can overclock up-to 3.4 GHz when under full workload. The Intel’s Skylake X architecture has genuinely surpassed all limits with fitting all these high-end specs in just a 14 nm size.
The performance of the processor in CineBench’s multi-threaded benchmark test, the Intel Core i9-7980XE scored commendable 3,331 points which is just 100 points less than the over-clocked thread ripper 1950X. Intel wins the performance game because of the strength of Skylake-X Core architecture and secondly the invention of 3.0 turbo boost, which can overclock the processor at extreme 4.2 GHz.
At least, now we know the true potential of the core i9 processor can be unlocked at the clock-speed of 4.2 GHz. This clock-speed can only be achieved by overclocking the processor by messing with the multipliers and voltages. It can be a bit of a problem though because of the VRMs which thermally throttles to de-clock the processor for efficient working and also because Intel does not integrate its processors in the HIS system, instead bets on inadequate thermal paste, which makes overclocking a little dangerous and challenging. The VRMs stop the processor from over-clocking to maintain the temperatures below 107 degrees, because of which the Intel core i9 7980XE cannot reach its full capabilities.
To conclude Intel’s unbelievable achievement on Core i9-7980XE, I would say that it is definitely worth the price, but the cost is too expensive for regular users. Give it any application to run, any program heavier than the heaviest, it still manages to run it as smooth as butter. If there’s anything that could hold you back, is the money factor. Your conscience won’t allow it unless there is a need for such a powerful performance. This processor surpasses all other processors, including AMD Rysen Threadripper which is the top-end processor from the company. It is extremely hard for one to justify his investment to buy the Intel Core i9-7980XE.
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
Pros & Cons
The AMD Ryzen 2600X is one of the best processors for mid-range buyers, which competes with Intel’s Core i5 processor chip. This CPU serves better multi-core performance than the Intel Core i5 chips by having better single Core power and gaming abilities. The fact that it consumes more power and runs a little too hot cannot be hidden from users for too long. The competition between Intel and AMD have been around for quite a while now, and Intel clearly is winning by the Core i9’s performance, but for budget laptops, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X is the best option and value for money.
The price of the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X is a little more than it usually is with the AMD processors, at $229. On the other hand, the previous version of the Ryzen, i.e. the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X retailed originally at $219. This increase in $10 is because of the addition of new RGB wraith prism cooler that features with the box. This price range makes the AMD 2600X more affordable than the Intel Core i5-8600K labelled at $259 excluding the cooler. Thus, a better option is the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X.
The processor features 12 nm Zen+ architecture which is smaller than its predecessor with 14 nm lithographic size. There are not many improvements in this version of the Ryzen, other than 0.2 GHz higher clock speed, which is enough to push the processor to its limits. The best improvement made to this processor is the precision boost which ensures that each thread is pushing the maximum frequencies they can at every action. Also, the Extended Frequency range (XFR2) functions across all cores now. These are not just minor improvements; they make a lot of performance enhancements in the system.
Moving on to the performance of the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X, it features the Zen+ architecture as mentioned earlier, with dual CCX configuration which enables six cores to be actively functional with 12 threads along with it. The processor is clocked initially at 3.6 GHz with the precision boost overclocking it up-to 4.2 GHz which is impressive but consumes a lot of power and generates even greater amounts of heat. The processor also contains 16 MB of L3 cache and TDP of 95W.
The company does not include any kind of thermal solutions with the middle or lower budget processors, but with the higher-end processors, it includes cooler within the package. Further, AMD sticks with the Indium solder with this processor because of its better thermal transfer performance.
To conclude, I would say that the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X is a worthy option for a processor, with the latest version of 2018 called as the Ryzen 7 2700X for a greater price. The CPU is of great value for middle ranged buyers who can perform tasks like video editing or heavy multi-tasking. The experience is smooth, and it is faster than the previous generation Ryzen 1600X. The addition of lower cache and memory with six cores and boost potential takes away the pride from Intel. Bonus cooler and software storage bundle adds up to the value of the processor. Thus, this entire list of features makes the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X an excellent mid-budget option.
Intel Pentium G4560
Pros & Cons
After learning about the processors which are at the top of their game, here we are to discuss the processor which is at the top of its game too, but in the list of low budget laptops. The Intel Pentiums are kaby-lake based processors with the frequency increase of 100-200 MHz. In earlier days hyper-threading was the main differentiator between Pentium and Core i3 processors, but now even the dual-core system can pull off four threads simultaneously.
The price of the Intel Pentium G4560 is $89 on Amazon.com/us, which apparently looks cheap when compared to other competitors on the market. The chip as referred earlier comprises of 2 Cores and four threads. The Pentium G4560 is equipped with a clock speed of 3.50 GHz with the L3 cache of 3 MB only. It looks less when compared with the top-end processor specification, but fewer cores amount to fewer numbers. The Thermal Design Power or the TDP is 54W which tells the total power consumption of the processor.
Performance-The Intel Pentium features integrated graphics which is the Intel HD Graphics 610 at 350 MHz of transfer speed. With this graphics card, a maximum graphics video support is of 64 GB. The processor provides the ability to run various programs, and software like DirectX 12 and Intel Clear Video technology.
Features-The budget processor with just two cores can support hyper-threading, Virtualization technology, and Intel 64. Intel recommends temperatures not exceeding the 100 degrees mark, for overheating issues. There are also some features which the two cores cannot handle, and those are an Optane memory, Turbo boost, or vPro technologies.
To conclude, I would say that after experiencing the performance of the Intel Pentium G4560 processor, it is worth buying at such a low cost of $89. It performs exceptionally well for users with regular use and it is Intel, so there should be no doubt about the efficiency of the product. I would rate this processor 8/10 on the list of budget laptop processors.
The processor or the CPU is the brain of the computer, so it has to be the best according to your requirements, with many different variables associated with it; Clock-Speed, CPU cache, Cores and architecture. These variables should have the highest numbers to be called as a good and efficient processor. There are also other variables which should have the least of numbers for better performance, as the TDP and lithography of the processor. All of these variables are very important for a processor, so a user should examine each of these specifications before investing in a CPU.
The processors as mentioned above which are the; Intel Core i9-7980XE Processor, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X and the Intel Pentium G4560 are the best processors ever invented based on the category of pricing range which makes the Core i9-7980XE very expensive and the best amongst all these three options. It is over-priced at a dollar less from $2,000 which is worth buying, but one apparently has to make a choice analysing his need for such a stout performer. If not the core i9, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X will do the work for you at a mid-range price of $999. To finish, I would say, “Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all times.”